Water Gardening

Aquatic plants are much more than exotic looking additions to your water feature. These hard-working beauties play several key roles in a pond. In addition to controlling algae growth, aquatic plants provide shade, food, and protection for fish. Typically, aquatic plants are grouped into 4 varieties: water lilies, marginals, floating plants, and submerged plants.

white lotus

Water Lilies

Hardy species of water lilies are reliably perennial from the northern reaches of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Zone 3 to the subtropical areas of Zone 11. White, pink, red, yellow or white flowers float directly on the water and are open during the day. They tend to be smaller and have a more delicate appearance.

Tropical water lilies are often larger and showier than hardy varieties. They come in a wider range of vibrant colors and may have unique features like ruffled edges or fragrant blooms. They are are hardy in USDA Zones 10 and 11, but can be planted in colder zones when the water temperature is consistently above 70 degrees F. Some varieties bloom at night.

Expert Tips: Remove any spent foliage throughout the season, and before winter. New leaves will emerge in the spring. Remember to have planting pockets built into your pond. Planting pockets will allow you to place a potted plant in the pocket and use rocks to hide the pot. As the weather turns colder, the potted plants can be easily removed from the pockets but keep in mind that they should be placed at the bottom of the pond to survive the winter.

Fertilizing water lilies will encourage a greater number of larger flowers. Time-released granular fertilizer mixed into the soil at the bottom of the pot or planting pocket is a great way to fertilize at planting time. If you don’t have that option, consider using lily fertilizer tablets.

Marginal Aquatics

Marginal aquatic plants, like cattails, papyrus, water irises, and blue moneywort grace the edges of a water garden. They help filter the water and remove elements that would otherwise feed algae. In a rock and gravel pond, marginals are usually placed directly in the gravel. This allows the plants to thrive naturally and provide optimal filtration. Most hardy marginal plants can stay in your pond over winter. Tropical varieties that need to be removed before winter should be dug up and put into pots.

Floating Aquatic PLANTS

These aptly-named plants float at the surface while their roots hang into the water. Most floating aquatics are tropical, but some are hardy perennials in climates with hard winter freezes. Water hyacinths (NOT the garden variety bulb!) and water lettuce are tropicals, and good choices to disguise the top of the BioFalls filter.

Submerged Aquatics

Submerged aquatics are commonly called oxygenators, but this is a misnomer. These plants do produce oxygen during the day, but at night and on cloudy days, they use oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. Submerged aquatics, including hornwort, lemon bacopa, horsetail rush, and miniature spearwort, are efficient at using nutrients in the water and are good hiding places for fish.

Other Plants

  • Lotus
  • Pitcher plants
  • Sundews
  • Certain hibiscus varieties
  • Red Rice
  • Ruellia
  • Lobelia
  • Loosestrife sunset
  • Alternethera
  • Water wisteria

Aquatic Plants Bring Color to Your Pond


Aquatic life Koi fishRohsler’s has all the aquatic life for your pond feature, including fish, plants, and more! You can choose from gorgeous Koi, Shubunkins, and Comets (red and white sarasa), or pick up some Bullfrog Tadpoles or Trapdoor Snails. We also provide fish food, including flakes, pellets, and sticks from popular brands like Blue Ridge and Tetra.

Your pond is a small ecosystem that will benefit from the addition of tadpoles, snails, and several varieties of fish. These gorgeous creatures will enliven your pond and enhance its visual appeal.

Reconnect with nature as you watch your fish interact with each other. Recall pleasant childhood memories as you observe the tadpoles develop from one stage to the next. After dark, several native species of frogs will provide a soporific serenade that blends with the soft splashing of your waterfall.


Fountains provide visual and auditory interest. As a bonus, they attract butterflies, dragonflies, and hummingbirds! Bubblers, fountain rocks, and a range of stone models are among the many available options. Fountains are often integrated into ponds, but they can also stand alone or act as a focal point in a garden.

Other products

  • Pond Kits (including Aquascape – various sizes are available)
  • Pumps, Hoses, Parts, & Related Accessories (including Aquascape)
  • Filtration Systems (including Aquascape and Laguna)
  • Pond & Fountain De-Icers (including Aquascape)
  • Complete Line of Chemical Treatments (including Aquascape and API)
  • Pond Salt & Barley (including Aquascape and Summit)
  • Nets & Netting (all sizes)
  • Pond Gravel (various sizes)
  • Stones (small to large boulders)